Ars Electronica 2006 – some edu-tech. stuff around, too

Ars Electronica festival – an event of electronic and media art – starts tomorrow in Linz, Austria. Most of the events takes place during the coming weekend.

Ars Electronica is, first at all, an arty event with a lot of exhibitions with (silly) “plug and play” art: robotics, flashy lights, and things like that, but also a lot of mobile things (surprise!) and even some edu-tech stuff.

Media Lab Helsinki has been invited to organize the Campus Exhibition for the 2006 festival. Some of the over 40 installations and projects presented are also somehow related to learning. Several of them are also open/free/libre.

Animaatiokone is an easy-to-use, futuristic installation that turns you into a master animator. The custom software makes experiencing clay animation quicker and more fun than ever. All you need to start is a piece of plasticine. Animaatiokone combines technological and user interface innovations into a novel collaborative storytelling tool. Animations are captured one after another, each animator continuing from where the previous one stopped. All animations are presented on the Animaatiokone web site at www.animaatiokone.net. Difficult to describe, you must come over to Linz and try it out yourself.

QuiQui’s Giant Bounce is an award-winning children’s computer game from the year 2000-2001. The game is controlled through movement and use of voice. The user interface employs a webcam and a microphone to see and hear the children playing the game. This is also difficult to describe, you must download the game or come over to Linz and try it out yourself.

What You Do Is What You Hear! is an interactive, audiovisual installations providing environment for children to play and understand the major properties of sound. There are sound object, where graphical shapes incarnate sound sources that the user can manipulate on the virtual stage by moving his/her hands in front of the screen (one hand each in case of two people playing together). Right – difficult to explain, you must come and try it out yourself or with your children.

In the research groups’ lounge we are presenting some of my group’s projects. We prepared a short video about them. In the lounge we also have a demo of the MobilED audio wiki. You may also take a closer look of the LeMill system for finding, creating and sharing learning resources. Furthermore you can check out the UNESCO Young Digital Creators Educators Kit and the Art, Design and Technology course for Arab States initiated by UNESCO, as well. All these projects are implemented with open/free/libre tools. If in any of the projects there is some software developed, they are always released under open/free/libre license.

Like always, we are happy to meet people. So, if you happen to be in Linz or somewhere close by, come over to visit us. If you’ll get yourself to the main square of Linz, you will find us.

We are also blogging the exhibition and the festival, if you for some reason just can’t make it this time.

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